Public defender to represent Shelby Dasher in Tyler Dasher death case

7:31 PM, Nov 17, 2011   |    comments
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St. Louis County, Mo (KSDK) - Shelby Dasher, the mother who is charged with second-degree murder of her son, Tyler Dasher, was arraigned in St. Louis County Thursday morning.

Court officials said Dasher's appearance was brief and the judge entered a not guilty plea on her behalf, and assigned the public defenders office to represent the young mother.

Dasher did not have legal representation when she made her first appearance on the charge of killing her infant son.  It was at the hearing that the formal charges were read to Dasher.

Her next court appearance is scheduled for January 5th 2012 in St. Louis County court.

Dasher is presently jailed in the infirmary of the St. Louis County and is on suicide watch, according to a spokesperson for the jail.

The 20-year-old is being held on a cash-only $500,000 bond.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch said the 13-month-old boy died as a result of multiple blunt force trauma.

Dasher admitted to striking the boy several times out of frustration because she could not get him to go back to sleep and stop crying, McCulloch said.  She then told investigators she hid the body in a wooded area and returned home.

Tyler's grandmother, who lives in the home with him and Shelby, was there, but authorities said she was not aware anything had occurred.

The evidence suggests there was not premeditation, which is why Dasher was charged with second-degree murder, McCulloch said.  The difference between first-degree and second-degree murder charges is the difference between being "cold-blooded" or "hot-blooded," according to McCulloch.

Due to the fact that this is an ongoing criminal investigation and will continue with a trial, McCulloch did not reveal many specific details regarding a timeline.  However, St. Louis County Police Chief Col. Tim Fitch said Dasher was out the night before the crime.  McCulloch confirmed the victim's grandmother left the home around 7:30 a.m. to go to work.

There was no evidence of any abuse to the child prior to this incident, McCulloch said.

Dasher had been booked on a 24-hour hold at 2:00 a.m. Wednesday at the county jail on suspicion of first-degree murder, according to a supervisor at the St. Louis County Jail.

Investigators do not suspect anyone else was involved in the crime.

On Tuesday, police responded to a call of a missing child around 11 a.m. in the 7700 block of Clevedon in Affton.

Tyler Dasher was last seen Monday evening before 10 p.m. when his mother put him to bed.

Around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, citizens out walking found the body of Dasher in a wooded area near River Des Peres Road and Gravois, approximately one mile from the child's home.

The investigation is ongoing.  NewsChannel 5 will have more information on this story as details become available.

Friends and family will hold a vigil and moment of silence in Tyler's honor at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the River Des Peres Greenway at Olde English Road and River Des Peres in Affton.

On Wednesday, NewsChannel 5 obtained court records from St. Louis County confirming that the parents of Tyler Dasher's father, Joseph Ellington, took measures to obtain legal guardianship over Joseph.

According to the documents, the parents had been concerned about Joseph's state of mind.

At a March 2011 court proceeding, a psychiatrist said Ellington suffered from paranoid delusions and diagnosed him as "disabled" and "incompetent." The psychiatrist said Joseph Ellington declined treatment.

Shelby Dasher filed for an order of protection against Tyler's father on October 13, 2010. She requested a dismissal of that order on November 22, 2010. The order was dismissed.

PREVIOUSLY: Shelby Dasher booked in St. Louis County Jail


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